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Maps and Globes are something that naturally appeal to children.

I think
that it appeals to their adventurous side: pirates, explorers, and all that.
Teaching some simple map and globe facts can eve n when your children
are very young. While they may not retain every fact, or completely
comprehend things like latitude and longitude they are always learning
and will build on what they know as they grow and develop.

1. Difference between a map and a globe: Explain to your child in simple

terms that a map is a flat drawing of the earth, while a globe is is a
representation of the actual shapeof the earth.

2. Land/water: One of the simplest things to teach about a map, that even
a very young child can understand is the difference between land and
water on a globe or map. Identify that the brown and green masses are
land and the blue represents water.

3. Latitude and Longitude: latitude runs east and west, or left and right on
a map. Longitude runs north and south or top to bottom. Show your child
the equator at 0° latitude that divides the northern and southern
hemispheres. Then the Prime Meridian that is at 0° longitude. Using these
two points on a map you can find the exact location of any place in the

4. Continents: Identifying the 7 continents is a great basic way of

identifying other areas of the world, a good way to reinforce their memory
of them is to identify each with landmarks, animals, or something similar,
for example- “Here is China, this is where panda’s are from”, Here is “North
America, where we are” This gives them a simple point of reference.

5. Their own location: Show them where they are in more specific detail
than which continent, the country, state and if your map is detailed
enough, the city or at least a general area.

6. Cardinal directions: North, South, East. And West. Demonstrate how

they relate to points on a globe or map. Point to directions such as – North
of the Equator, North and South America. Once they understand the basic
four directions you can ask them to identify “What is East of Europe?”
or “What is the southernmost continent?”
7. Oceans: Teaching your child the 5 oceans of the world is a great way to
expand their map knowledge. They are- Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic,
and Southern. Start with the ocean that is nearest your location, make it
relevant to your child, if you have visited the beach that belongs to that
ocean “Remember when we visited the beach last summer? That was part
of the ___ ocean” Then work you way outward.

8. Key: Map symbols help identify various areas on a map. The symbols
used will depend on whether its a map of the world or a city map. It may
identify mountain ranges, or railroad tracks. Locate the Key on the maps
you have available and search for each item with your child until you locate
them on the map.

9. Types of maps: Whether you have many types of maps and globes on
hand or you visit the library for a mini field trip show your child that there
are maps of the world, of just one country, or even maps of just a specific
city. Some are climate maps, some are topographical, or political. Atlas’s
contain lots of different map aspects and information.

10. Scale: shows you the distance on a map in a small size, obviously life
size maps and globes are not an option when traveling. 1” may represent
1 mile or 100 yards.